Starting from Scratch with XLH1... advice sought at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 18th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Starting from Scratch with XLH1... advice sought

After 10 years away from film/video, I'm getting back in so I could use some advice. I've logged about 50 hours on this site in the past month. Great Stuff.

I will be shooting the following:

- Wildlife (birds mostly), Nature, Flyfishing on location with output to DVD and local TV.

As well as indie docs, dramatic shorts, instructional, industrial etc. but will start mostly with the above.

I was initially looking at the XL2 but have decided to upgrade to the H1 for the HDV. I will be buying just after NAB so things may change but as it stands, the H1 is for me.

The dealer will throw in a couple of BP970 batteries. Other gear is Manfrotto 503/525 tripod/head, Kata raincover, Dino Hardcase, Kata softcase, Seen Me-66 + K6 power module, Senn EW112PG2 wireless, fishpole with windshield and jammer. All totalled close to 5k CDN for accessories.

The big thing about stepping up to the H1 is posting in HDV. What I need help with is peripheral gear. I know if you wanna shoot HDV you've gotta be ready edit in HDV, so I have to decide what system(s) match up best with the H1...?

- Mac vs PC. (I have never owned a Mac),
- Premiere Pro vs Avid vs FCP vs Vegas
- Cineform hardware accelerator vs Canopus (or other)

I intend to buy a dedicated edit system. I have about 6k left for Hardware/Software but may need a little more.

I looked at the Boxx Technologies turn-key systems and was a bit scared off by the price for their HDV systems. I have dealt a lot with Dell, though I don't know if their systems are robust enough to handle HDV.

Thanks for the help.
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #2
DVi Contributor
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 374
you should really look at other tripod systems. there are others that work better for outdoor shooting, Miller makes a very light weight system. Also look at the 1.6 extender for bird and wildlife shooting. forget about the on board batts, goto IDX booth, they make a vlock batt that will clip on the back suppport plate, You can shoot for several hours on one of these batts. What kind of sound requirements are you needing??
Craig Chartier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
I looked at the Boxx Technologies turn-key systems and was a bit scared off by the price for their HDV systems. I have dealt a lot with Dell, though I don't know if their systems are robust enough to handle HDV.
I have purchased many Dell desktops and laptops over the years. My latest system is from Boxx. Both are fine systems. I didn't see that much difference in price for equal configurations. I chose Boxx for HD editing because I wanted a specific graphics card, six drives to include a four drive RAID 0, etc. The Dell's are configurable to a point, but Boxx offers better configuration options for HD. YMMV.

I also have the Senn wireless. Very nice system. They are a bit power hungry for the two AA batteries, and they don't tolerate weak batteries well (adds noise), so keep fresh batteries on hand.

Best,
Christopher
Christopher Glaeser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier
forget about the on board batts, goto IDX booth, they make a vlock batt that will clip on the back suppport plate, You can shoot for several hours on one of these batts.
We just bought the XLH1 and are very pleased with it so far. The battery that shipped with it lasts much longer than I expected. We have used it on a number over 5hr+ shoots with power to spare. This includes numerous rewinds to review footage.

If you are getting 2 thrown in with your purchase, you should have no problem shooting all day long.
__________________
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
Director of Photography Editor Digital Film Production 540.915.2752 daveperry.net
Dave Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Chartier
Also look at the 1.6 extender for bird and wildlife shooting. forget about the on board batts, goto IDX booth, they make a vlock batt that will clip on the back suppport plate, You can shoot for several hours on one of these batts. What kind of sound requirements are you needing??
Craig,

I'll get a price on the 1.6. I used to have one with my old L1 and was really happy with it. Just didn't know if it would hold up to HD. I have an EF 70-300 EOS that may work well but the EF adapter is $650 CDN. For that money I'd really like to get the M2 35mm adapter from redrock, as an old film student I love playing with the shallow depth of field.

The dealer recommended the IDX, but I'm sure he said it was like $1800 CDN. I do like the idea of the lock on to the back support plate as this would balance the camera from what I hear.

As far as sound I was just looking for a system that would suit several needs, I will likely use the ME-66 on the fishpole with a sound tech and the wireless for interviews etc. A few years ago, I went to Costa Rica and shot some great footage but the on board sound was real weak.

I'm also considering spending 1k on an EWA underwater housing, just to drop under to shoot salmon in the river taking a fly.

Just a matter of priorities.

Thanks for the replies
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2006, 10:58 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Glaeser
My latest system is from Boxx. Both are fine systems. I didn't see that much difference in price for equal configurations. I chose Boxx for HD editing because I wanted a specific graphics card, six drives to include a four drive RAID 0, etc. The Dell's are configurable to a point, but Boxx offers better configuration options for HD.
Christopher,

Maybe I'm not looking at equal systems, but I just thought that Boxx seemed pretty high priced.

What NLE software are you using?
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Maybe I'm not looking at equal systems, but I just thought that Boxx seemed pretty high priced.
You may be right. Dell has the volume. I wanted a fully loaded dual processor dual core system which I could not configure online at Dell. If I had called Dell sales to configure the system, it's possible they could have matched the configuration, but I think I ordered the Boxx before Dell was delivering the dual/dual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
What NLE software are you using?
Adobe Production Studio Premium with CineForm Aspect HD on Windows XP (if you are considering x64, don't go there). Knock wood, everything has been very stable with a couple minor exceptions (Creative X-Fi soundcard has problems with other cards such as RAID controllers, and Smartsound Quicktracks can generate sound tracks that cause PPro 2 to crash, but both problems are easy to work around).

The XL-H1 and CineForm CFHD codec work well with Serious Magic Ultra, and creating chroma keys with progressive HD source is a major step forward.

Best,
Christopher
Christopher Glaeser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #8
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,093
Christopher,
Curious why you say not to use an Athlon X64 for an Adobe+Cineform setup? I recently built my first AMD system (X2 4800+) for use with the XL-H1, Adobe Production Bundle, and Cineform Aspect -- it seems to be working quite nicely. Are there potential issues?
__________________
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 09:05 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Basel area, Switzerland
Posts: 285
Ken: I've used the XL-1s extensively for wildlife shooting, and have recently rented the XL-H1 for a couple of indoor shoots. Here's my advice regarding your RFC:

- Batteries: XL-H1 battery life is _much_ improved over the XL-1s. The stock 5200 mAh battery lasts as long as 4 hours (w/ IS enabled).

- XL-Extender: Was never impressed with it on the XL-1s (soft, reduced contrast), but looked reasonable on XL-H1, although I noticed some odd bokeh artefacts/CA. I also own the EF-Extender, and it has a lot going for it for wildlife (maintains IS capability of EF-lenses - that's a biggie for birds!!). Didn't have much time to test it with the XL-H1, but Canon states that primes should be fine for HD. At any rate, I would only use L-series or other high-quality lenses (50mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2.8 macro). The EF-Extender may be particularly interesting if you're also shooting stills with Canon (D-)SLRs - fewer lenses to carry.

- Audio: have you thought about a parabolic mic? I don't have any experience with them, but I'd sure love to try one sometime. See http://www.parabs.com for more info... Also, for run-and-gun stuff with the stock mic, you may want to look at the Lightwave Equalizer EQ-XL1

- Support: I own Manfrotto sticks with the 503 head, and I could be happier. Very sticky when cold, often difficult to start movements smoothly.

- Editing: I'm a Mac man, and like FCP a lot. To get your feet wet, you may want to buy the fastest Intel-based Mac mini or iMac CoreDuo and buy FCP 4 or higher on eBay, then use the Final Cut Sudio Universal Crossgrade offer to upgrade cheaply: http://www.apple.com/universal/crossgrade/
This will give you a taste of what the OS and FCP are like. For more serious storage and GPU-options, you should be able to buy an Intel-based Power Mac G5 successor in Q3 or Q4 of this year, although the iMac Core Duo with external FireWire storage will carry you far for HDV-work. I wouldn't buy a G5 at the moment, unless you are heavily dependent on Adobe Creative Suite (on the Mac).

Edit: any Intel-based Mac will let you run Windows in parallel (i.e. w/o re-booting) with the Mac OS at very close to full performance - see http://www.parallels.com/ for details.

HTH,

Ron
__________________
Ronald P. Pfister
halimedia - digital solutions and services
www.halimedia.com
Ron Pfister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Christopher,
Curious why you say not to use an Athlon X64 for an Adobe+Cineform setup? I recently built my first AMD system (X2 4800+) for use with the XL-H1, Adobe Production Bundle, and Cineform Aspect -- it seems to be working quite nicely. Are there potential issues?
Pete,

I was cruising the Cineform FAQ and they have a quasi blueprint for starting up and recommend the AMD Dual Opteron over the Dual Xeon for HDV editing.

Ken
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Pfister
- Audio: have you thought about a parabolic mic? I don't have any experience with them, but I'd sure love to try one sometime. See http://www.parabs.com for more info... Also, for run-and-gun stuff with the stock mic, you may want to look at the Lightwave Equalizer EQ-XL1
Ron,

Yeah, I was thinkinking parabolic... thanks for the link. I was thinking that i might be able to find a parabolic housing for the Senn mics.

Ken
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Ron,

Yeah, I was thinkinking parabolic... thanks for the link. I was thinking that i might be able to find a parabolic housing for the Senn mics.

Ken
You might also want to consider other alternatives to the Senn ME66. On the higher side, the Sennheiser 416 is widely used in features etc while the Audio technica AT4073a is generally considered better sounding than the ME66 at a slightly lower price.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!

Last edited by Steve House; April 19th, 2006 at 05:27 PM.
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UT
Posts: 945
I don't recommend HDV native editing at all. If you like to color-correct and composite, it's just a HARSH pass of compression to footage that is already MASSIVELY compressed technically. If you do mostly cuts only editing with simple transitions, it's ok.

The future is HD-DVD's or Blu-Ray and so editing in a better compression format such as Cineform is probably the better choice, IMHO. HDV is quite render heavy overall.

I use FCP and generally edit H1 material in DVCProHD or PhotoJPEG through SDI card captures. 24F editing in a true 24P timeline is a kludge in FCP right now, but Cineform and Premiere Pro offer true 24P capture/editing of 24F material right now, and the quality is nearly lossless from the original.

If you're comfortable on the PC platform, Cineform is the way I'd go.
Barlow Elton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barlow Elton
I don't recommend HDV native editing at all. If you like to color-correct and composite, it's just a HARSH pass of compression to footage that is already MASSIVELY compressed technically. If you do mostly cuts only editing with simple transitions, it's ok.

The future is HD-DVD's or Blu-Ray and so editing in a better compression format such as Cineform is probably the better choice, IMHO. HDV is quite render heavy overall.

I use FCP and generally edit H1 material in DVCProHD or PhotoJPEG through SDI card captures. 24F editing in a true 24P timeline is a kludge in FCP right now, but Cineform and Premiere Pro offer true 24P capture/editing of 24F material right now, and the quality is nearly lossless from the original.

If you're comfortable on the PC platform, Cineform is the way I'd go.
Barlow,

Thanks, I've read enough to be convinced that Cineform is the way to go... I'm having second thoughts though about PPro 2. On Cineform website, they talk about PP bugs. So I have been re-looking at Vegas w CF HD Connect. I downloaded the trial version a couple of weeks ago and it feels great... on DV. I had always thought that PPro was the PC's best, but maybe not???

Ken
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:35 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network